Marcia McNutt, the president of the US National Academy of Sciences, and her colleagues call for the establishment of a research policy board in the US to help research institutions grapple with issues of scientific integrity, in a commentary appearing in Nature.
The authors note that such an idea is not new and that it has been proposed by a number of US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reports issued during the past 25 years. But, they now say they will be moving forward with developing a research policy board.
As they write at Nature, McNutt and her colleagues envision this board not as an investigative body, but as an advisory one that provides standards and best practices and is separate from any government organization.
"An independent research integrity advisory board could standardize protocols and practices, and function as a clearinghouse of information and a source of guidance," author C.K. Gunsalus, the director of the National Center for Professional and Research Ethics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, tells Retraction Watch in a Q&A.
The authors note in their commentary that they plan to kick off discussions about research policy board during US National Academy of Sciences' annual meeting in April and in a follow-up meeting of stakeholders later in the year.